Native to the Northern Hemisphere, the crabapple, also known as wild apple, is commonly used in apple orchards to help with pollination. Every sixth or seventh tree is often a crabapple, its fragrant blossoms attracting extra bees to the orchard each spring.
The fruit of the crabapple is oftentimes quite tart and not a favorite with many cooks. But they’re full of pectin and are usually used to make a beautiful ruby-red jelly, pickled in a vinegary brine or canned in a sugar syrup with cloves. After searching the internet for recipes, I came upon the following one from the Manitoba Association of Home Economists’s website, Home & Family. This wonderful, old-fashioned cake is incredibly moist and flavorful. It’s delicious by itself, but few people would object to a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1 tsp salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups finely chopped crabapples, unpeeled*
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Blend flour, soda, salt and spices together. Combine oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl and beat completely. Stir in finely chopped crabapples and nuts. Mix in dry ingredients, one-third at a time. Pour into prepared 9 x 13-inch pan and bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes.